Part VI – A Sad Relapse
I apologize for the long break between Part V and Part VI. A quick glance at the previous entry, “Stranded in His Faithfulness”, will offer some insight into the delay! 🙂
Success often carries with it the danger of pride. The danger is no less for the King’s daughter. Despite her miserable beginnings, she is just as apt as anyone else to forget where she has come from and to let her new situation puff her up. It is the same trap to which Satan fell prey, and he is more than willing to use it against any of God’s children. Isaiah 14:12,
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”
Satan desired more than to “be like Christ”, which is what we are to be desiring. He wanted to be in the place of God. He lost sight of the fact that his beauty had come from the God he dared to try to replace. Sadly, the heart of the King’s daughter fell prey to the same temptation.
“But thou didst trust in thine own beauty” (Ezekiel 16:15), with this one phrase we see the beginning of a change in scene and the entire mood of this story. In the next few verses the beauty of the King’s daughter is changed into the corrupt repulsiveness of a harlot. In fact, the second part of verse fifteen tells us that she POURED out her fornications on everyone that passed by.
She took the beautiful garments that the King had given her, the garments of wrought gold and needlework, and decked her “high places”, her altars to false gods, with them. (vs. 16)
The beautiful jewel that He had placed so lovingly on her forehead, the necklace that He had put about her neck, the bracelets and earrings, and crown, these she turned into images, idols. (vs. 17)
The embroidered garments that He had given her, she used to cover the idols and then she set the incense intended for worship of God before the false gods of her creating. (vs. 18)
The meat, flour and honey with which He fed her, she turned into a sacrifice to her false gods. (vs. 19)
And perhaps most deplorable of all, she has taken her sons and daughters, the children of the King, and offered them as sacrifices, causing them to pass through the fire of the false gods. (vs. 20,21)
She has forgotten her youth and the benefaction of the King. (vs. 22)
As God goes on to describe her fornications, He declares that she is not as a harlot, because she scorns hire. No, she is as a wife that commits adultery, which takes strangers instead of her husband! A harlot receives gifts, but this daughter gives gifts to her lovers and hires them, using the very gifts that the King had bestowed upon her! (vs. 23-33)
In sad conclusion to the description of her state, we find that the virgins that once followed her (Psalm 45:14) are now repulsed by her whoredoms. She is contrary to even the harlots:
“And the contrary is in thee from other women in thy whoredoms, whereas none followeth thee to commit whoredoms: and in that thou givest a reward, and no reward is given unto the, therefore thou art contrary.” (vs 34)
It is easy for us to say, “I would never do that. I would never be so evil. I would never turn away from God, never squander His blessings, never worship another god, never sacrifice my children on the altar of a false god.” But we do.
We forget what God has done for us. We forget the sacrifice that He has made for us and that it was He who healed our wretched souls and who gives us victory and makes us beautiful and acceptable before Him.
We let other things have first place in our lives. It starts small, but it grows and it grows – very quickly. Soon a littler flirtation with the world has become all out adultery. We see it in many churches today. A little worldly philosophy creeps in and the next thing you know the church service resembles a concert more than a time of worshiping the God of the Universe. A poem is read, a story is told, but where is the preaching of the Scriptures? It becomes another form of entertainment, a tickling of the ears and a tingling of the senses, rather than a time of humble, reverential remembrance of what God has done for us and how we should thank and serve Him with our lives.
We set up high places where we worship, often not even realizing that we have done it. Sometimes the things are not bad in themselves (hobbies, sporting events, social events, “causes we care about”), but we “worship” them at the expense of our relationship with God. And our children! Our children are lost because of our flirting and fornicating, sacrificed up to the idols of our making, never to experience the beauty that was once ours! How? It is simple. That which takes precedence over the things of God, detracts from our quiet time, the most intimate place of our relationship with Him. With that lost, we are not so easily grieved about missing out on services in His house because we are no longer so intimate as we once were. And so it is that little by little we drift further and further away until at last we have drifted so far that we are no longer serving Him as we once were, if at all. Our children then have little or no exposure to the things of God, nor to the intimacy that can be had with Him through prayer and study of His Word. They become the next sacrifice to whatever idol we have set up. OH, how grievous. Do not think it could not happen to you. It can. We must be on guard that our hearts are not wandering and setting the things of this world above the Maker of this world.
The relapse of the King’s daughter. What thoughts run through our minds as we consider it? That she was ungrateful. That in return for the affections of her King she betrayed Him and sold herself to others in a despicable manner. That she had once again become repulsive. True. But is the case any different when we turn, even slightly, from serving our Lord. Remember, this is our story. It is HIS beauty that has been set upon us. Let us not become prideful and in flaunting our beauty wander away from the One who perfected it.
Coming soon: Part VII – God’s Chastening